Sunday, August 8, 2010
Interview with Kelly Yeomans
Kelly's Etsy and Website are linked at the end of this interview.
My shop name is Kelly Christina Artworks. People always comment about my name - they usually think that either Christina is my last name or that my full first name is Kelly Christina, both of which would seem kind of funny, I suppose. Actually Christina is my middle name. Surprise!
I received my BFA from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI in 2002. My emphasis was in illustration and graphic design. I also studied for a fall term at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. I grew up on the east side of Michigan, then spent 11 years in Grand Rapids before moving to Madison, WI, where I currently reside.
How Did You Get Started In Printmaking?
I took a couple of printmaking classes in college. One focused predominantly on intaglio and the other was all about woodblock. I loved it, but at the time I was focusing much more on graphic design so when the classes ended, sadly so, too, did my printmaking. Then, about 2 1/2 years ago a ceramics friend of mine asked me to do an art show with her. Without a professor or boss telling me what subject or medium to use, I instinctively thought to try my hand at printing again. And so became the rebirth of my love for printmaking.
Describe Where You Work
My studio is located in my apartment. I have an upstairs loft with a little cubby and window in the corner where I have my space.
What Is Your Favorite Printmaking Process?
I currently do wood block and linocut prints, which I enjoy, but would love to be able to get into etching again.
I will do rough sketches of a million different ideas in my journal first. From there, if I am carving from a linoblock, I will create a more refined drawing which I then transfer onto my block through good old pencil graphite rubs. If it's on a wood block then I draw directly onto the block. The reason for the different process being that the lino is too soft for my constant drawing and erasing.
What Do You Enjoy Most About Printmaking?
I enjoy the reward of pulling that piece of paper off the block and seeing a beautiful piece of art work that I sometimes even surprise myself with.
What Is Your Least Favorite Park of the Process?
The actual printing of the piece. I haven't invested in an actual printing press yet, so the printing process is excruciatingly long, as all I have is a wooden spatula and really great arm strength.
What Are Your Inspirations (other artists, people, places, events, etc.)?
My inspirations tend to be mostly things in the natural world, though I also enjoy patterns, textures, urban, modern and subject matter that is whimsical and narrative. A few artists that have inspired my work are Gwen Frostic, Mary Cassatt, and Robert Rauschenberg.
When I initially got back into printmaking 3 years ago I was definitely more than a little rusty and my prints were fairly primitive. I don't usually have large amounts of color and detail elaborations anyways, but I like to think that it's because it is more of my choice now as opposed to my lack of abilities. Having said that, I feel that I am constantly growing and changing as an artist and am always looking to learn new skills and refine the ones I possess.
How Do You Get Past Creative Slumps?
I used to get really stressed out over creative slumps. I actually did almost no fine art at all for 5 years because I was so hung up on my creations having to be perfect in both aesthetic and concept. Now I do what I like even if there is no "greater meaning" to it other than it's a bird that just looks really cute. I also work in other mediums, so if I'm feeling bored with carving I'll get my pen and inks out instead - or do another creative activity that has nothing to do with visual art (like baking).
How Do You Promote Your Work?
I've worked enough in other jobs to have a million different ideas for great ways to promote my work, unfortunately, I don’t have the same budget that Steve Jobs; has, so for the time being, it mostly through internet resources and word of mouth - with a couple art shows thrown in every now and then.
Any Other Comments Or Advice For Others Who Want to Try Making Hand-Pulled Prints?
For people wanting to get a start in printmaking who are also on a tight budget, there are a lot of relatively inexpensive "beginner" materials available now. And you don’t have to have a press either - just a really great wooden spatula!
Kelly's Etsy Site
Kelly’s Web Site